Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast
The story follows Amy, a member of her high school swim team and pregnant. Her new best friend Ester helps her through the tribulations of attempting to self abort the pregnancy. Ellie McCaw is magnificent as Amy; she leaves herself littered all over the stage at each performance. Equaling her performance, but in a less emotional role, is Jordan Boyer as Ester. Both of these young ladies are graduates of Booker High School's Visual and Performing Arts program, a few years apart. Ms. McCaw appeared with director Summer Dawn Wallace in Freak and all this history shows up as extra strong chemistry between Ms. McCaw and Ms. Boyer and between the director and her cast. In much smaller parts, Olivia Segal as Reba, Josh James as Victor, and Richard LeVene as the janitor are all effective.
Director Summer Dawn Wallace gets top notch performances from her entire cast. Her staging of the scene in which Amy actually aborts is horrifying. She manages to make it as graphic as possible stopping short of showing what the audience would not wish to see. Richard Cannon replicates an actual girls locker room on the stage, including a working toilet stall. Monica Cross's costumes are perfect, with bathing suits for each of the women and changeable outer garments as the action progresses. Lighting by Ryan Finzelber is brilliant, especially in the abortion scene.
The entire production is one of Urbanite's very best and that is saying a great deal when Chicken Shop and Isaac's Eye are part of the company's history. Dry Land is exactly what Sarasota audiences have come to expect from Urbanite Theatre: a challenging play, brilliantly acted and produced. This play is not for everybody, but I will never forget it.
Urbanite Theatre presents Dry Land through July 24, 2016, at 1487 2nd St. Sarasota. Visit www.urbanitetheatre.com for more information.
Summer Dawn Wallace: Director
With Special Thanks to: